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Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether priority treatment for former service personnel is for (a) illness and injury compensated for by war pensions and (b) any injury or illness sustained during service in the armed forces. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) shortest and (b) average tour interval is of (i) the Light Dragoons, (ii) 1(st) Battalion The Grenadier Guards, (iii) 1(st) Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, (iv) 1(st) Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, (v) 26 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers, (vi) 19 Regiment Royal Artillery, (vii) 2 Signal Regiment Royal Signals, (viii) 4 Logistic Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, (ix) 4 General Support Medical Regiment Royal Army Medical Corps, (x) the 2(nd) Royal Tank Regiment, (xi) 3 Regiment Army Air Corps (xii) 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, (xiii) 2 squadron of the Royal Air Force Regiment, (xiv) 15 squadron of the Royal Air Force Regiment and (xv) 51 squadron of the Royal Air Force Regiment. 
Derek Twigg: The shortest and average tour intervals (based on operational deployments between March 2002 and April 2007 including Herrick 6) for the Army units listed, are provided in the following table:
|Unit||Shortest tour interval||Average tour interval|
|(1) No unit TI available as these units have not deployed as formed units within the period specified.|
|Unit||Shortest tour interval||Average tour interval|
Derek Twigg: The Royal Navy does not own any horses. The Royal Navy and Royal Marine Equestrian Association owns one show jumping team horse and seven polo ponies, and the Saddle Club owns an additional five horses. All horses and ponies were purchased and maintained from non-public funds.
Derek Twigg: The claiming of tax credits and other benefits by Service personnel is a private matter between individuals and the relevant Government Department. The Ministry of Defence does not hold records on the numbers of service personnel claiming tax credits and other benefits.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many incidents of friendly fire by American military personnel on British servicemen there have been in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan since 1990; and what the (i) location and (ii) date of each such incident was; 
(2) how many British service personnel have been (a) killed and (b) injured by friendly fire from American military personnel in (i) Iraq, (ii) Afghanistan and (iii) elsewhere in each year since 1990; 
Des Browne [holding answer 19 February 2007]: The information relating to the number of friendly fire incidents involving US and UK military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in each year since 1990 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Since 1990, there have been 12 British service personnel killed in friendly fire incidents involving American military personnel in Iraq. There have been no confirmed reports of British service personnel killed in friendly fire incidents involving American military personnel in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
Derek Twigg: No main investment decision has yet been taken on the future of the Defence Training Review Programme. It is, therefore, not possible to comment on the apportionment of costs between the authority and private sector funding until the current negotiations have concluded.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proposals his Department has received to establish a Government owned, contractor operated solution to the Defence Training Review; what consideration has been given to this option; and what the likely impact on costs of such a solution would be over the life of the programme. 
Derek Twigg: Under the Defence Training Review Programme, proposals have been received from bidding consortia for two distinct packages of training delivery which would operate under a Public Private Partnership arrangement. For Package 1 bids were placed by MC3 and METriX; for Package 2 by Holdfast and METriX.
Bidders solutions were received in October and November 2005. Since then, an extensive and robust evaluation has taken place to ensure that bidders proposals meet Defence Training requirements and are evaluated on an equitable basis.
One bidder did provide an unsolicited proposal regarding establishing a Government owned contractor operated solution. However, this proposal did not conform to the requirements of the invitation to negotiate and was provided after formal submission of the recommendations on bidder down select to the approving authority. It would therefore have been inappropriate and contrary to procurement rules to consider this proposal further.
Derek Twigg: The eligibility to apply for the HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge and UK Merchant Seafarers Veterans badge is advertised on the Veterans Agency website (www.veteransagency.mod.uk). It has also been publicised through government and ex-service organisation publications, through local and national press articles featuring coverage of announcements of extensions of eligibility to apply for the badge and through badge presentation ceremonies. We are also promoting badge presentation ceremonies as a key part of this years Veterans Day events. The position is kept under review, including considering opportunities to provide further publicity for the scheme.
Derek Twigg: My right hon. Friend the Minister of State will visit the Falkland Islands to take part in events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict in June. Other Ministers and myself will be alongside veterans in London at the centrepiece of the commemorations to mark the 25th anniversary on Horse Guards Parade on Sunday 17 June. As Minister with responsibility for veterans, I will accompany veterans when they travel to the Islands as part of the South Atlantic Medal Association (1982) pilgrimage in November.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many individuals have died whilst detained by the Multinational Forces in Iraq; how many were being held without charge or trial; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many individuals have been held by the British contingent of the Multi-National Force in Iraq but are now not in such custody; how many were held for more than (a) one week, (b) one month, (c) six months, (d) one year and (e) two years; how many have (i) been charged, (ii) brought to trial and (iii) died in custody; whether any had British nationality; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Since 1 January 2004, British forces have interned 1,480 people, 118 remain interned and 1,362 have been released. Information on how long each was held could only be provided at disproportionate cost. None of the 1,362 released were brought to trial, charged or died whilst in custody. Readily accessible records indicate that only one of those interned held British nationality: the dual Iraqi-British national still interned.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 11 January 2007, Official Report, column 713W to my right hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz). It is not appropriate for the MOD to comment on deaths of detainees being held by other nations that make up the Multi-National Force in Iraq.
Des Browne [holding answer 20 February 2007]: There are no UK troops based in the province of Al Muthanna and a small contingent based in Dhi Qar province to provide part of the command element for the Australian and Romanian Battle Group based there, which is capable of conducting operations in both Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar. I am withholding further details on the precise number of troops as it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of our armed forces.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total (a) required and (b) actual personnel in the (i) 40 Commando, (ii) 42 Commando and (iii) 45 Commando for each year since 1997. 
Derek Twigg: The following table shows both the Requirement and Strength for 40 Commando, 42 Commando and 45 Commando. Requirement data broken down by unit are only available from November 1999. The data include both Royal Navy and Royal Marine trained personnel and exclude Full Time Reserve Service and Activated Reservist personnel.
|40 Commando||42 Commando||45 Commando|
|As at 1 April:||Requirement||Strength||Requirement||Strength||Requirement||Strength|
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